Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

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  • 2 Answers
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    A Rheumatology, answered on behalf of
    People with fibromyalgia feel sensations of pain all over the body - in the stomach, arms, legs, tendons, muscles and tissues - places that normally would not bother someone else. This pain can come from normal pressure on the joints or from everyday stretching of muscles and tendons. So for people with fibromyalgia, a stretch is not just a stretch. It is a painful experience. Pressure is not just pressure; it’s pain. Cold water is not just cold; it’s painful. Even moving their bowels to pass stools can be painful. If you have fibromyalgia, it's important to understand that pain doesn't mean there's something wrong with the part of your body that hurts. Rather, it means your central nervous system is hypersensitive to pain sensations.
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    If you ask any person with fibromyalgia (FM) what fibromyalgia is, their response would be pain; from the top of their head to the end of their toes. It's pain that "waxes and wanes" from day to day, and persists even with the use of scientifically accepted medical treatments. The pain experience is described as deep muscular aching, shooting, throbbing, stabbing, pounding and at times it is unbearable. People with FM do not sleep well, waking up feeling like they have been hit by a "Mack truck," with morning stiffness or spasticity that makes it difficult to move. Repetitive movement seems to accentuate the pain and forces many people with FM to severely limit their activities, including exercise routines. This lack of exercise results in people becoming physically unfit, causing their FM symptoms to become more severe. The other major complaint is fatigue so severe that people have a difficult time performing everyday tasks, enjoying hobbies, staying employed or taking part in their children's activities. People may feel as though their arms and legs are weighed down by cement and their bodies may feel so drained of energy that every task is a major effort.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Can the change of seasons or the weather impact my fibromyalgia symptoms?
    For some, weather or changes in seasons can make a big difference in fibromyalgia symptoms; sometimes cold, rainy weather can worsen symptoms. Watch as family medicine physician Jennifer Caudle, DO, explains how weather can impact fibromyalgia.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Is pain the main symptom of fibromyalgia?
    Chronic, widespread pain is the hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia, but there are other symptoms in combination that constitutes the diagnosis. Watch family medicine specialist Jennifer Caudle, DO, discuss the other main symptoms to be aware of.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Be sure your doctor understands your full range of fibromyalgia symptoms. Although many, most, or all of them may be part of your fibromyalgia, many of the same difficulties can occur with other health conditions.

    It's important to discuss each of the symptoms you experience with your doctor, for two reasons. First, although each of these symptoms is common in fibromyalgia, each can also occur as the result of other medical conditions. Your doctor may refer to these symptoms as non-specific, meaning that you can experience them with fibromyalgia, as well as with a wide variety of other health conditions. Therefore, it's important to make sure you don't have another illness before treating your symptoms as part of fibromyalgia. Second, your doctor will want to tailor your individual fibromyalgia treatment to target your most severe symptoms. Some treatments help a broad range of fibromyalgia symptoms; others are more effective for individual symptoms.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    A 5-year study following fibromalgia symptoms in almost 300 women found significant improvement over time in fatigue, function, and depression. Improvement occurred after 1 year, with greater improvement over the following 4 years. So, the good news is that there's light at the end of the tunnel. The bad news is that the tunnel is long -- improvement will occur, but it's probably not going to happen overnight, after a few weeks, or even after a few months.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Monitoring fibromyalgia symptoms can provide helpful information to you and your healthcare provider, and identify your most troublesome problem areas. Completing your symptom logs before visiting the doctor and bringing the results with you will help you to more effectively communicate with him. It also means you won't leave your appointment thinking, "Drat. I forgot to tell him about..."

    Once you have started a treatment program, complete the logs every week or so to help monitor your progress. Most fibromyalgia treatments take several weeks to produce noticeable effects. Sometimes, it's hard to recognize that you're making progress, especially when improvements occur gradually. Being able to go back several weeks to review your symptoms before treatment can help you decide if your treatment is helping or not. Being able to identify improvements can prevent you from abandoning treatments that might have become more beneficial if you had continued them.

    The FibroFatigue Scale was developed by researchers in Sweden. This tool can be used to rate a wide range of common fibromyalgia symptoms. It is a reliable and accurate tool for measuring the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms and changes in symptoms with treatment.

    Another tool you can use to keep track of the severity of your symptoms is a simple 0 to 10 scale. This can be used for pain (0 equals no pain and 10 equals unbearable pain), sleep disturbance (0 when sleep is good and 10 when it is severely disrupted), and fatigue (0 represents no fatigue and 10 the worst fatigue possible). Noting symptoms that are still a problem for you and adding details about the limitations they impose can help you and your healthcare provider target treatments. Sleep disturbance also can be measured using the Insomnia Severity Index.

    Keeping a diary to track your progress can help you continue following your treatment program. Diaries are also helpful for guiding you in progressing at an appropriate pace -- not advancing too quickly or too slowly. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider if you are not able to advance your program or continue following it, because your program may need to be modified.
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    The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from one person to another. The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic, body-wide pain. Many other symptoms are associated with fibromyalgia, and no two patients have precisely the same combination. Other common symptoms include:
    • fatigue
    • insomnia
    • poor concentration and attention span
    • irritable bowel syndrome
    • sensitivity to bright lights, loud noises, and temperature changes
    • restless leg syndrome
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    The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from one person to another. The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic, body-wide pain. Many other symptoms are associated with fibromyalgia, and no two patients have precisely the same combination. Other common symptoms include:
    • fatigue
    • insomnia
    • poor concentration and attention span
    • irritable bowel syndrome
    • sensitivity to bright lights, loud noises, and temperature changes
    • restless leg syndrome
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  • 6 Answers
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    Trigger points might be "active" or "latent." An active trigger point is painful even when no pressure is applied to it, and the pain may limit the use of the muscle, leading to weakness and decreased range of motion. A latent trigger point does not cause pain during daily activities, but it will feel sore when pressure is applied to it, and may become activated if the muscle is injured.

    Doctors aren't sure what causes trigger points. They may result from a single serious injury to a muscle or from repetitive minor injuries to a muscle area. Other possible causes of trigger points include poor posture, a vitamin deficiency, joint problems or maintaining an awkward body position. Trigger points are also common symptoms in people who have a condition called chronic myofascial pain (CMP), a neuromuscular disorder that affects the muscles and the tissue surrounding them (fascia).

    Exercise, stress relief and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain and inflammation from trigger points. If those measures don't work, a doctor can sometimes inject a pain reliever, a water solution or a corticosteroid directly into the trigger point. Botulinum toxin is also sometimes used for trigger point injections. Sometimes simply inserting a needle into a trigger point without injecting medicine into it can break the pain cycle and bring relief.
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